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Veratridine-induced phosphorylation and activation of tyrosine hydroxylase, and synthesis of catecholamines in cultured bovine adrenal medullary cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Kitakyushu, Japan.


The mechanism of the synthesis of catecholamines by veratridine was studied in cultured bovine adrenal medullary cells. (1) Veratridine increased the phosphorylation and activity of tyrosine hydroxylase as well as the synthesis of [14C]catecholamines from [14C]tyrosine, all of which were inhibited by tetrodotoxin. Veratridine-induced activation of tyrosine hydroxylase and synthesis of [14C]catecholamines were reduced in 20 mmol/l extracellular Na+ or in Ca2+-free medium. (2) 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), an activator of protein kinase C, increased the synthesis of [14C]catecholamines. In the presence of TPA, veratridine did not produce any additional increase in [14C]catecholamine synthesis. In protein kinase C-deficient cells which were prepared by pretreatment with 1 mumol/l TPA for 24 h, TPA failed to increase [14C]catecholamine synthesis and veratridine-induced [14C]catecholamine synthesis was suppressed by 50%. (3) Polymyxin B, an inhibitor of protein kinase C and N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide (W-7), an inhibitor of calmodulin, inhibited veratridine-stimulated synthesis of [14C]catecholamines as well as veratridine-induced influx of 22Na+ and 45Ca2+ with similar potencies. (4) In digitonin-permeabilized cells, polymyxin B attenuated the activation of tyrosine hydroxylase caused by Ca2+. These results suggest that veratridine-induced synthesis of catecholamines and activation of tyrosine hydroxylase were mediated by Ca2+-dependent phosphorylation of this enzyme, and protein kinase C may be responsible, at least in part, for this process.

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